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Emirates innovates with inflight entertainment for the visually impaired

30 July, 2014

First airline to introduce Audio Description soundtracks for movies

DUBAI, U.A.E., 30th July, 2014 :Emirates, the global connector of people and places, continues to set industry standards by becoming the first airline to introduce Audio Description on movies for visually impaired customers on its inflight entertainment system, ice Digital Widescreen.

Emirates’ ice (information, communication and entertainment) was recently awarded the ‘World's Best Airline Inflight Entertainment’ award at the SKYTRAX World Airline Awards for the 10th consecutive year.  ice now offers Audio Description soundtracks on 16 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures films including Frozen, Saving Mr. Banks, Cars 2, Monsters University , Marvel’s The Avengers, Toy Story 3 and all four Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Audio Description, increasingly common in cinemas and TV, is a recorded narration explaining the scene during the gaps in dialogue, while the film soundtrack continues at its normal pace. 

In 2007, Emirates also worked with Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures to introduce Closed Captions, the technology used by the hard of hearing, for the first time in inflight entertainment. As well as showing the actors' dialogues in subtitles, Closed Captions also include references to sound effects used in the movie. This August ice Digital Widescreen will offer over 50 movies with Closed Captions.

Emirates Media Player

“Our focus is not just the depth and diversity of our on-board entertainment, but also relevance. Making entertainment accessible to our diverse customers is very important to us. It was our motivation to introduce movies that can be enjoyed by customers with visual difficulties. Our greatest satisfaction comes from delivering an exceptional customer experience, which we hope our constant innovation fulfils. In future, we want to add more content with Audio Description, so visually impaired passengers can be entertained with an even wider choice of content when flying with us,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ Vice President Corporate Communications Product, Publishing, Digital & Events. 

Emirates’ award-winning ice Digital Widescreen offers a staggering choice of over 1,800 channels of entertainment, including over 400 movies from around the world, hundreds of hours of TV and thousands of hours of music from contemporary to classical. Customers onboard Emirates’ new Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft will now be able to enjoy the ice system on larger personal TV screens with HD resolution: 27-inch in First Class, 20-inch in Business Class and 12.1 inch in Economy Class.


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